11th November 2009
Hampshire based Closewood Air Conditioning Limited, who install, maintain and repair air conditioning systems, made a huge decision a couple years ago to move out of the construction market, a market which they had been operating in since the company began over 15 years ago, and focus their activity on a completely new sector, the office fit-out and retail sector.
With such a big change in direction for the company, a completely different approach in their marketing was needed. They knew the construction industry very well, and had built up good working relationships over the years. So to succeed in the office fit-out and retail sector they would need to build up completely new relationships, and make themselves known.
It was at this point that Simon Anderton, Director of Closewood Air Conditioning, heard about the new easyFairs Interior Fit-Out Show that was launching for the first time. Simon explains: “Moving into a completely new space was a massive change for us, especially after working in the construction sector for so long. We were now out of our comfort zone and needed to get ourselves known within the office fit-out and retail sector, and quickly. The easyFairs Interior Fit-Out Show seemed the ideal place for us to showcase ourselves, but as it was a launch Show I wasn’t too sure if easyFairs could deliver.”
The first easyFairs Interior Fit-Out Show, which launched in 2008, attracted almost 100 exhibitors and 1,100 visitors, and established itself as a key diary date for office fit-out and retail companies, shop-fitters, joiners, display specialists, and manufacturers of storage solutions, lighting, decorative glass, contemporary furniture and of course an conditioning specialist.
Following on from the success of the first Show, easyFairs Interior Fit-Out returned in April 2009, and proved to be bigger and better than before attracting 25% more visitors than the 2008 Show.
Simon comments: “From the first Show alone we brought in £300k worth of new business from 80 generated leads. This was fantastic for us, so it was a simple decision that we should exhibit at the 2009 Show.”
Simon continues: “This year in particular (Interior Fit-Out 2009) we came away with over 85 leads including 12 ‘hot leads,’ of which one turned into a project worth £520k! From this year’s Show we have generated £1million worth of new business and we are still in talks with people we met at the Show, so I am expecting more business to come through from this. With figures like these you know straight away that you’re onto a winner when it comes to ROI.”
What impressed Simon, was not only the ROI that the Shows have provided Closewood Air Conditioning, but also the support that the easyFairs team have offered the company prior to the Shows.
Simon explains: “easyFairs have been brilliant. They helped us with our own communications strategy prior to the Shows, working closely with us on our own marketing material. Whenever you phone they are always there to offer advice and point us in the right direction. The exhibitor days that they host are invaluable, and make sure you get the most out of the Shows.”
Simon continues: “Obviously when at the Shows you have got to make the most of it, and put the work in. For example… approaching people, talking to as many visitors as you can, collecting business cards etc, but with easyFairs attracting such a good number of quality exhibitors and visitors, whilst offering the support that they do prior to the Shows… this does help immensely.”
Within hours of the 2008 & 2009 Shows finishing Simon and his team were setting up meetings immediately. His team also compiled a database the next day after the Shows of the leads that they had obtained. They made sure to email each lead personally within 4 days of meeting them, whilst also giving them a personal call a week later. Something that easyFairs had advised them on doing.
Simon concludes: “For the price of the stand, and with all the support you get with that, the ROI is truly excellent. I’ve never exhibited at shows before, so it was a real breath of fresh air to be working with such a professional outfit who were always on hand to help and offer advice. For easyFairs to attract such a strong number of exhibitors and visitors given the economic climate of the past two years it is very impressive indeed. We’re already signed up to Interior Fit-Out & Retail 2010, and advise anyone serious about growing their business within this sector to do the same.”
ROI figures for Closewood Air Conditioning following Interior Fit-Out 2009
Total Investment: £4,550
Sales to date: £1,000,000
ROI = £220 return on every £1 spent